Software Engineer, Applied Machine Learning (News Ranking)

  • Tokyo
  • Partial Remote
  • Full-time
  • August 10, 2022
Apply from Anywhere 👍
Relocation to Japan 👍
(Overseas visa sponsorship supported)
Language Requirements
Japanese: Not Required 👍
English: Business Level
Minimum Experience
Mid-level or above

About SmartNews

News can change the world, save lives, and bring us all closer together through empathy and understanding—but not if no one reads it. Out of the hundreds of millions of articles and posts, how do we deliver the information that matters the most?

SmartNews is dedicated to delivering quality information to the people who need it around the world. We provide news that matters to millions of users thanks to our unique machine learning technology and relationships with over 3,000 global publisher partners. Our SmartNews app, available on iOS and Android, is already used in over 150 countries worldwide.

But we’re only just getting started, and that’s why we need someone like you.

Machine learning on news ranking is crucial for analyzing millions of articles everyday to deliver the most engaging high quality information in near-real-time while providing Personalized Discovery experience to our users.


About Our Engineering Culture

Our global teams of engineers come from a variety of professional backgrounds from large, well-established companies to small ventures. We believe that employees with diverse skill sets and life experience make for strong, cohesive teams.

Visit the People page on our careers site to read interviews of our engineering leaders!


Applied Machine Learning Engineer Responsibilities

Machine Learning engineers are responsible for tackling complex problems to optimize the ranking and recommendation system (example: search ranking, collaborative filtering, personalized recommendation, diversification, and more)

  • Plan and execute engineering development of state-of-the-art core-ranking system to provide a "Personalized Discovery" experience to millions of users

  • Develop algorithms and model architecture to deepen understanding of article contents as well as user behaviors

  • Collaborate with global cross-functional teams to support new product feature development

  • Work closely with software engineers to enhance systems related to news features (articles, pages, channels, search, etc.) using Machine Learning technology, providing high quality user experience and increasing user engagement

  • Proactively contribute to system improvements that result in direct user impact through innovation and creative thinking



  • 1+ years of experience in designing and implementing machine learning algorithms for online product and services (ideally related to ranking, recommendation, personalization etc) and applying them to real world problems (will consider research and internship)

  • 3 years of software development experience in any programming languages (e.g. Java, C++, Python, Scala)

  • MS, Ph.D or BS in computer science, mathematics, physics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or other quantitative fields

  • Ability to work with cross-functional teams globally with a "team player" mindset



  • Experience working as a software engineer and/or machine learning/AI engineer in a technology company

  • Experience working as an Applied Scientist, Researcher, Data Scientist in relevant fields with hands-on software engineering experience

  • Familiarity with one or more of the following Machine Learning libraries: Tensorflow, xgboost, Keras, PyTorch, scikit-learn, pandas, numpy, etc.

  • Knowledge of developing and debugging in Java and Spring-boot

  • Experience with Hadoop/Hive/Spark/AWS

  • Solid Machine Learning background and deep understanding of certain domain of machine learning techniques, especially in natural language processing, recommendation systems, and/or computer visions



Perks and Benefits at the SmartNews Tokyo Office

  • Support program for employee’s self-development and well-being

  • Healthy lunches are prepared on-site daily in our SmartKitchen, located in our West Office building. You can even see the cooks at work!

  • Need a pick-me-up? Stop by ChikyuCoffee, our in-house coffee shop located in both the East and West Office buildings, and get a cup of gourmet coffee, espresso-based beverage, or other seasonal drink!

  • SmartNews provides all healthcare and social insurance benefits required by Japanese labor law


Visa Sponsorship and Relocation Support

For candidates who meet eligibility requirements, SmartNews can sponsor visas.

To support a smooth transition for candidates who are moving to Japan from overseas, SmartNews partners with a travel service provider.

Recently crowned Japan's latest tech unicorn, this company runs a wildly successful news service that’s powered by machine learning. It's an engineering-focused company (One of co-founders is an engineer) and they have offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Shanghai, Beijing that are apparently doing quite well too.

The mission of SmartNews is to discover and deliver quality stories to the world. Since its inception in 2012, the SmartNews app has been downloaded over 50 million downloads and maintained a monthly active user count of over 20 million.

In addition to being one of the most popular smartphone apps in Japan, SmartNews has worked hard on building their business in the US. They now have partnerships with over 300 major news publications in the US like CBS, Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, National Geographic and more. They’ve had a great deal of success due to their ML-based sorting and recommendation systems.

SmartNews has a highly diverse development team with many world-class engineers and others working from their offices in Japan,China and the US. They maintain a very strict hiring bar for technical hires and an engineering-driven culture that makes them one of the strongest tech companies in Japan when it comes to technical skill level.

SmartNews is looking to hire the best people regardless of background, so they’re willing to hire people that don’t speak Japanese and (under normal circumstances) bring them to Japan from overseas if necessary. Everyone works together as one team regardless of location, and SmartNews provides everything their employees need to do their best work and maintains a Silicon Valley-inspired culture for engineers in Tokyo.

SmartNews's policies during COVID-19 are as follows:

  • All interviews are being conducted remotely
  • Employees are working remotely following the government’s instructions
  • They've given everyone some monetary incentive to support working from home
View SmartNews's company page

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